Should U.S. Olympians Have to Pay Taxes on Their Medals and Prize Winnings? (As of Now, They Do)

Sports 2012/08/05 22:36:18
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Last week, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced a bill that would exempt U.S. Olympic medal winners from paying federal taxes on their medals and prize money. "Athletes representing our nation overseas in the Olympics shouldn't have to worry about an extra tax bill waiting for them back at home," he said in a statement.

Under the current policy, Americans winning in London will add the value of their medals (around $650 for gold, $330 for silver, and $5 for bronze) and their prize winnings ($25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze) to their taxable income. At a 35% income tax rate, medal winners will end up owing the IRS around $8,750 for a gold, $5,250 for a silver, and $3,500 for a bronze.

Romney and a number of Congressional lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have jumped to support the measure. They, and many others, are appalled that these athletes who represent the United States are being penalized for their successes. However, others argue that Olympic medalists do not merit preferential treatment.

“The fact is that prize money from athletic victories is income, and there is no good reason for the government to treat that income differently than the income of all the non-Olympic athletes who earn analogous types of income,” wrote Conor Friedersdorf for The Atlantic. “Why should Olympic athletes be exempted from paying taxes on their prize money, but not professional golfers, or poker players, or winners of literary prizes, or folks who win the lottery?”

What do you think SodaHeads? Should U.S. Olympians have to pay taxes on their medals and prize winnings?

Read More: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/0...

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Top Opinion

  • Robshock 2012/08/05 22:43:24
    They are going to be paying HEAVILY on money they get from endorsements. Why charge them for the medals and the honorarium?

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  • Ahrtal American 2012/08/06 16:24:37 (edited)
    Just think if Audie Murphy had had to pay taxes on HIS medals! He might have thought twice about sticking his neck out!

    Thanks for your service! Few people really know what service members sacrifice, because most have never served nor earned freedom.
  • ChiTownGirl 2012/08/06 15:32:04
    They should suspend taxes on these Olympians, as well as taxes on any lottery winnings as well!!
  • Professor Wizard 2012/08/06 15:20:35
    Professor Wizard
    Oops.. I meant to click NO...

    I believe people who represent our Country, or our Government should not have to pay taxes on income or winnings the obtain doing so.

    I also think people who are employed by our country, should not have to pay any tax's on their income - - they already sacrifice, as Government Employees traditionally make then their civilian counterparts.
  • opinionated 2012/08/06 15:16:37
    We work to earn money that the government takes. What did the government do to deserve that money? It's just never ending! We are taxed on every aspect of our lives. If the Government wants to pay for the training, build a facility for every type of sport for the athletes to train, then they have the right to tax that money. Until then, bud out! Let them reap some of the reward for the sacrifices they made to be the best and represent their county. They shouldn't have to then give that to the government too. So, ridiculous.
  • marcus armijo 2012/08/06 15:01:01
    marcus armijo
    Wow they will try to tax anything.
  • Seeker of Truth - War Wizard 2012/08/06 14:52:03
    Seeker of Truth - War Wizard
    Considering how much money they've each likely spent on training, equipment, etc to get where they are, and that they are representing our country, I'd say no.

    However, I don't believe that should apply to the professional athletes that now compete. The ones that make millions of dollars playing pro sports should have to count this as part of their income, since they already make money from the sport. Then again, I stopped watching the Olympics years ago when they started allowing the pros in in the first place. I preferred when it was all "amateurs".
  • Gambit 2012/08/06 14:48:08
    All that sacrifice and hard work just to be taxed. That's just tacky.
  • JOMO 2012/08/06 14:45:51
    No and I would hope that no one would be dumb enough to even consider proposing such rule...JOMO
  • Groundskeeper Willy 2012/08/06 14:44:27
    Groundskeeper Willy
    Seriously, there is only 6 Grams of Gold in the Gold Metal, with current metal prices the medal is only with about $600.00.

    It is asinine.. If they want to do that, than the kids should be able to deduct EVERY trip, cost to get to meets as a business expense.
  • Sterling 2012/08/06 14:43:38
    "You worked out in pools and tracks, if you're an Olympian, you didn't build that."
  • FordCrews 2012/08/06 14:37:24
    Most of them fall into 2 camps, rich spoiled brats who had families that could afford to spend millions training them full time for decades, or bums who lived of tax payer donations for decades in the hope of using their bodies to become rich and famous. The first group should pay for sure, the 2nd most likely had no other income, and won't end up paying any tax anyway.
  • marcus ... FordCrews 2012/08/06 15:02:16
    marcus armijo
    I voted no but I agree with that.
  • PeeDonk... FordCrews 2012/08/06 16:32:09
    This is a good summary of "Class Warfare"...
  • Tannenberg1993 2012/08/06 14:20:44
    Competing to pay a tax? Seems funky to me, considering how much of an investment some athletes make just getting to the Olympics they already qualified for.
  • boneman1 2012/08/06 13:51:09
    These athletes work ridiculously hard to prepare and then represent the United States at the Olympic games. Just my opinion, but I don't think they should be taxed if they win and certainly not on their medals.
  • S. Gompers 2012/08/06 13:44:01
    S. Gompers
    Not on the medals, but the prize money is earnings, just like hitting the lottery or something only a lot more work.
  • smitty 2012/08/06 13:35:16
    I don't want to pay taxes either!

    You don't mention state and local taxes either. 25k less 9 k is net 16k.

    Scrub the freaking tax code.
  • caius madison 2012/08/06 13:33:55
    caius madison
    So lemme get this straight, an Olympian is in active service to our country, so they get charged taxes like a civilian, yet an active military personnel wouldn't have to pay taxes? That's a bit shady indeed. After all, these guys can be considered peaceable conflict resolution officers of our country. They serve for us in International standings, an athletic diplomat if you will.
  • Mr.Hoodz the Truth Troll 2012/08/06 13:05:13 (edited)
    Mr.Hoodz the Truth Troll
    Another sign to the blind masses that scum buckets run this country and most of the world. We are waiting for yall to wake up anytime now. No ones income should be taxed. It's nothing short of slavery.
  • American 2012/08/06 13:03:11
  • Seeker ... American 2012/08/06 15:18:13
    Seeker of Truth - War Wizard
    Very good point.
  • Scott 2012/08/06 13:01:38
    I see I'm in the minority here, but yes, they should pay taxes on it; the way every Olympian has paid taxes on their winnings.

    I'd like to see Treasury Secretary (and head of the IRS) Timothy Geithner pay taxes too while we're at it.
  • Mr.Hood... Scott 2012/08/06 13:06:02
    Mr.Hoodz the Truth Troll
    The criminals like Geithner are not going to pay themselves. Makes no sense.
  • Anna Ar... Scott 2012/08/06 16:37:30
    Anna Aronovic
    Think would you like to pay for winning?
  • Scott Anna Ar... 2012/08/06 17:09:48
    I don't like to pay for my income! What does liking it have to do with anything?
  • Bob 2012/08/06 12:55:43
  • RT 2012/08/06 12:51:56
  • Bob RT 2012/08/06 14:12:25
    That's for sure!
  • Flamingolady 2012/08/06 12:49:04
    Their winnings are paltry compared to the money and sacrifice these athletes have paid to become Olympians. I honestly had no idea that they would be taxed on an Olympic win that brings such pride to Americans. Disgusting! I read a list of things we are taxed on the other day, and It was absolutely horrifying to think everything the government has it's hand out for.
  • Loki 2012/08/06 12:41:57
    Not on the medals but the prize money should be taxed.
  • Black_Rose 2012/08/06 12:32:41
    They already shell out enough money to get there. They all earned their medals, I don't think they should have to pay taxes on them.
  • john doe 2012/08/06 12:32:32
    john doe
    Well, isn't our government a bunch of thieving criminals. All the money goes to the federal reserve bank via the IRS and not one penny goes back to America anyways. The fed is the hand of evil that has America in a strangle hold.
  • Howling Hank 2012/08/06 11:57:56
    Howling Hank
    Paying taxes on winning medals...are we so freakin' hard up as a nation?
  • Bob Howling... 2012/08/06 14:15:41
    Where's the Boston Tea Party? Because the US govt doesn't know what meaning of the words "money management" are.
  • 001 2012/08/06 11:13:00
    Yes on the monetary prizes, no on the medals.
  • Lt. Fred 2012/08/06 10:54:20
    Lt. Fred
    Is it a form of income?
  • Dijadra Shantel Pratt 2012/08/06 10:16:22 (edited)
    Dijadra Shantel Pratt
    No, they shouldnt. Because if I were in the Olympics, I wouldnt want to pay any taxes on a medal, that I've worked hard to earn for a long period of time.
  • Rusty Shackleford 2012/08/06 10:14:24
    Rusty Shackleford
    All Americans should be taxed at the same rate.
  • tff~PWCM~JLA 2012/08/06 09:41:26
  • Skye 2012/08/06 09:11:19

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